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Sustainability and Home Lifestyle in Japan – Grade 6

Field of Study: K12 unit
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About Course

This module relates routine practices of Japanese life with actions toward sustainability. Japan is an island country with urban population density seventeen times greater than American cities; therefore, application of various attempts to live sustainably is a prerequisite here. Students will learn that Japanese encounter challenges those are comparable to ours as an developed, consumer culture. However, the necessary to adjust lifestyle is more intensely considered.  The course concentrates on the Japanese people who bring to carry a highly supportive perception of society, traditional values that condemn profligacy, and new technological innovation. By studying…

This module relates routine practices of Japanese life with actions toward sustainability. Japan is an island country with urban population density seventeen times greater than American cities; therefore, application of various attempts to live sustainably is a prerequisite here. Students will learn that Japanese encounter challenges those are comparable to ours as an developed, consumer culture. However, the necessary to adjust lifestyle is more intensely considered.  The course concentrates on the Japanese people who bring to carry a highly supportive perception of society, traditional values that condemn profligacy, and new technological innovation. By studying this course, students will learn how Japan faces the challenge of preserving water, energy, and material resources – including how to dispose of its waste. They will learn to build concepts that will be useful in discussing their own issues of consumption and environmental impact.

What Will You Learn?

  • 1) Resource consumption: Disposable Chopsticks
  • Students will view PowerPoint introductory presentation. Then the students will multiply to estimate the number of pairs of chopsticks the Japanese use every year. Students will make groups of of three. Students will discuss and draw a representation of the cause and effects explained in the articles they will be given to read in the class. Groups will show their diagrams and explain the relationships. They will learn if Japan’s food supply is secure for the future; if the factors they have are in their favour and the actions they should take will improve their food security.
  • 2) Trash and Recycling-Sorting chart and pickup Schedule
  • Students learn that Japan has used people’s coordinated effort and technological innovation to reduce the amount of trash going into landfills by 90% since 1990. Students will read the handouts delivered to them and watch videos. After that they will be divided in groups and based on the videos watched, they will write an assignment about moving to Japan and what he or she needs to know about discarding household waste.
  • 3) Water uses- Bathroom, kitchen and Laundry
  • Students will watch videos and learn 12 reasons why Japanese bathrooms are the best. They will also learn awesome Japanese techniques that conserve water and save time. It will also teach students about use of Grey water.
  • 4) Home Energy Use- The Net Zero Energy Home
  • This lesson aims to help students better understand that that Japanese people do not leave a heater running at night. They just turn it on in the room they are using when they wake up in the morning. The lesson demonstrates that taking a hot bath at night and getting right into bed under heavy quilts is another way people stay comfortable in an unheated house. Students will learn how Japanese people are being able to build Zero Net Energy Houses (ZEH)
  • 5) Cultural Values Extension- The Meaning of “Mottainai”
  • Students will learn about “Mottainai Spirit” and how Mottainai is used. They will brainstorm ways in which the “mottainai” concept in Japanese culture has helped the people deal with the environmental challenges of living on densely populated volcanic islands. At the end they will do group assignments on “Waste not, want not,”

About the instructor

instructor avatar
Dr. Ambareen Atisha is a student-centered Professor with expertise in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Departments, and a decade-long background of supporting students, developing academic instructional plans, and providing equitable assessments. She has been working as a Faculty Member at Sheridan Institute of Technology since 2017, at NSRIC Inc from August 2021 and at Humber College since January 2022 as Part-time Professor. Along with that, she worked as Lab Supervisor at Western University, London, On, Canada in 2017 (Feb -June). Moreover, she worked as a French Language Professor in Alliance Française de Dhaka from 2006-2008. Dr. Atisha’s main skills include: curriculum development, progress reporting, lesson planning, online and in-class teaching, faculty communication, designing, interpersonal skills, creating positive learning environment and continuous quality improvement. Dr. Atisha completed her B.Sc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 2001 and she did her Diploma in French Language from Alliance Francaise de Paris, France in 2006. Dr. Atisha then completed her M.Sc in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2011 and PhD in Environmental Engineering in 2017; both from Western University, London, ON, Canada. During her higher studies at Western University, she successfully worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Graduate Research Assistant from 2008-2016. Dr. Atisha has performed extensive research in developing different remediation techniques for removal of emerging contaminants like pharmaceuticals, estrogens as well as chlorinated hydrocarbons from surface water, groundwater, wastewater and soil. She has analyzed potential environmental impacts of organic pollutants through good knowledge in environmental standards and guidelines. She has 8 years of experience in using Instrumental Analysis Technique including Gas Chromatography, Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, High Performance Liquid Chromatography, Zeta Potential/ Particle Size Analyzer, FT-IR. Moreover, she is highly skilled in the utilization of different software for complex data analysis and data interpretation. She has prepared technical reports, papers for scientific journals as well as PhD thesis on basis of field investigation/survey/data, technical/scientific studies. Dr. Atisha’s experiences have resulted her in being commended for sustaining effective learning environment through prepared classes and relevant assignments. Consistently achieving post-secondary classroom management and academic goals is one of her assets, which she continues to use to ensure her students receive the best education.

Course Outline

Course Outline PDF

A: Resource consumption: Disposable Chopsticks
• In this lesson, students will learn to demonstrate disposable chopsticks customs and will multiply to estimate the number of pairs of chopsticks the Japanese use every year. • Students read “Disposable Chopsticks Strip Asian Forests” and “Chopstick Economics and the My Hashi Boom”. • Students will divide into groups of three/four. Students discuss and draw a representation of the cause and effects explained in the articles. Groups show their diagrams and explain the relationships. • Students will be explained “Japan Ecological Footprint Report 2012, p.25-26.” And they will be led to answer a various questions based on the food consumption., food production and export to other countries

B. Trash and Recycling-Sorting chart and pickup Schedule
• Each year 22 billion pairs of chopsticks and their wrappers discarded after just one single use in Japan. • The module will show that despite being just a small item, with a population as large as Japan’s, small items add up to a lot of trash. • With limited space available for landfills, Japan has a waste management challenge. • In this module the students will learn how Japanese deal with it.

C. Water uses- Bathroom, kitchen and Laundry
• Japanese people reduce water consumption and reuse greywater in their homes. • This lesson will teach them the use of greywater in a Japanese house. • They will also learn two other ways through which Japanese households save water.

D. Home Energy Use- The Net Zero Energy Home
• Students will learn from this module that Japanese houses do not have central heating and air conditioning. Still residential energy use has been hard to reduce.. • Students will learn that Sitting at the kotatsu and soaking in a hot bath before bed are two ways to stay comfortable in a house with no central heat. • Students will also Identify ways that builders, encouraged by the government, can build zero net energy houses (ZEH.) • Students will learn that Although the number of households has consistently increased, the energy consumption has been relatively stable in recent years.

E. Cultural Values Extension- The Meaning of “Mottainai”
• A Japanese cultural value underpins Japanese people’s effort to make their lifestyle more sustainable. • Students will learn that Japanese people are tied to a mindset of thankfulness for the favors of nature, remorse for anything unproductive, a humble consciousness of interconnection, and struggling to make the most of everything that comes to hand. • Students will also learn how Japanese awareness of “mottainai” is the same and different from familiar American values of frugality and self-abundance.

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Material Includes

  • This course is entirely online and does not require a textbook.

Requirements

  • Students will be required to have:
  • • A scanner, smart phone camera, or similar device to digitize handwritten or hand-drawn work
  • • Notebooks
  • • White Art paper
  • • Markers/crayons/coloured pencils

Classification Of Courses

Audience

  • This course is designed for Grade 6 students

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